Frontage deal bolsters PRA’s lab services business

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pra, Pharmacology

Contract research organisation PRA International has signed an agreement with fellow US firm Frontage Laboratories to expand the range of laboratory services it can offer to its clients.

The CRO has joined a number of its peers in broadening the portfolio of services offered in order to provide a comprehensive suite that can attract large drugmakers wishing to find a ‘one-stop-shop’ for trials. It already operates a comparable full-service offering in Europe and is bringing its North American operations into line.

PRA said the deal would allow its US Clinical Pharmacology Center, part of the PRA Early Development Services business, to offer “a full complement of analytical lab testing services to its existing Phase I - IV clinical trial services in North America.​”

In the bioanalytical area, Frontage specialises in method development and validation, biological sample testing, synthesis and characterisation of reference standards and metabolites, as well as pharmacokinetic testing and bioequivalence studies. The company operates a bioanalytical and biomarker research centre in Malvern, near Philadelphia, that houses 17 mass spectrometers and other instrumentation.

The company’s CEO, Song Li, said that the firm can now will offer specialised bioanalytical services through PRA’s customer network.

The aim is to build “a collaborative relationship with PRA that not only streamlines project execution but also places a strong emphasis on project management​," he said.

PRA said Frontage’s services will complement the activities of PRA’s 80-bed Lenexa clinical facility near Kansas City, Missouri, which runs a multitude of Phase I and Phase IIa studies each year, with a particular focus on first in human studies and other complex pharmacokinetic studies.

The new collaboration also offers pharmacokinetic and biostatistical consultancy and data support (including data management, biostatistical and PK/PD analysis and ICH-compliant report writing).

The firm said it “now offers pharma and biotech sponsors and other CROs the ability to align the clinical and laboratory processes, thus saving time by avoiding unnecessary clinical trial delays.​”

Bigger in Germany

Meanwhile, PRA has also added another office in Munich, Germany, as it continues to tap into the European contract research market. This is PRA’s third office in Germany, a country which was home to the first European branch of PRA, established in Mannheim 27 years ago.

Earlier this year the company relocated some of its German operations into a facility in Berlin that at the time tripled the size of the previous site, on the back of what it described at the time as “exceptionally fast” growth in its European Phase I trials business.

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